Oct 30, 2021 S Padre Island TRIP REPORT

by | Jun 15, 2022

Oct 31, 2021
Yesterday’s Texas Pelagic did sail and the weather turned out to be good with only 3-4 ft seas in the morning laying down to 2 ft seas in the afternoon. Stopping at 2 shrimpers on the way out yielded a few Masked and Brown Boobies and Mag Frigatebirds.

Chumming by John O’Brien managed to pull a flock of mostly LAGU’s all the way into deep water for the entire day something I’ve never seen managed before. This chumming feat yielded a Booby Bonanza as a pair of BRBO and 1-2 MABO followed the boat for hours. Then many other boobies and a few more Mag Frigatebirds came and went throughout the day. Everyone got tired of watching them after hours of them flying around the boat. This gull flock also brought in 3-4 Pomarine Jaegers for great views as they circled the Boat and hung out with us for a while. Numerous Audubon’s Shearwaters were spotted but only a few offered brief viewing as the others fled the boat so quickly most people didn’t get to see them. A lone Cory’s Shearwater was seen only by a couple of folks on the bow as it too quickly vanished in the sun glare.

The big highlight of the day were two pods of Short-finned Pilot Whales seen about 40 minutes apart in the deepest water we reached of about 2500-3000 ft. There were on the surface for as long as we liked and a few came within 10 feet of the boat to check us out and offer everyone spectacular views. The first pod was on the way out and then the second pod was on the way back so each sight was only a couple miles apart indicating they were all probably the same big pod spread out. We counted approximately 20-30 whales.

Also numerous passerine migrants were spotted but by far the most unusual bird sighting was a Short-eared Owl. A first pelagic owl for everyone.

Overall a very memorable Texas Pelagic day with lots of birds and never a dull moment.
Good seabirding,
Gary Hodne
Texas Pealgics.com

FINAL TRIP LIST :

TOTAL PELAGIC SPECIES – 50
TOTAL PELAGIC SEABIRDS  5

Audubon’s Shearwater – 11

Magnificent Frigatebird – 5

Masked Booby – 12

Brown Booby – 16

Pomarine Jaeger – 3

NEARSHORE SEABIRD Sp: 

Brown Pelican – 145

Laughing Gull – 1630

Franklin’s Gull – 3

Ring-billed Gull – 1

Herring Gull – 17

Black Tern – 2

Common Tern – 1

Royal Tern – 277

Sandwich Tern (Cabot’s) – 5

LANDBIRD MIGRANTS Sp: 

Passerine sp – 2

Cattle Egret – 4

Meadowlark sp – 1

Lark Sparrow – 1

Mourning Warbler – 1

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – 2

Scaup sp. – 3

Aythya sp – 2

duck sp – 5

Greater Yellowlegs – 1

Ovenbird – 1

Ring-neck Ducks – 5

Greater Scaup – 1

Chipping Sparrow – 1

warbler sp. (Parulidae sp.) – 1

Short-eared Owl – 1

Savannah Sparrow – 2

Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1

Common Yellowthroat – 1

MARINE MAMMAL Sp: 

Short-finned Pilot Whales – 20 – 30

Estimated GPS Trip Track from eBird Segment mid-points

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